All Presidents, anywhere in the world, are remembered by their flagship projects. Former President Moi, even with his weaknesses, embraced a stable country, and he saw to it that the country was more united and peaceful. President Kibaki was remembered for introducing the free primary education that opened the doors to millions of poor students who would never have stepped into a classroom. The dividends of his signature policy will be realized when the 2003 standard one cohort enters the workforce.
Further afield, US President Barrack Obama risked everything, including a possible second term defeat, to enact the affordable care act, popularly known as Obamacare that would provide millions of Americans with affordable healthcare insurance. Millions of poor Americans will likely benefit from this enactment of the health care act.
What has Uhuru Kenyatta achieved? The standard one laptop project collapsed even before it had started. Mr. Kenyatta hops from one collapsed project to another, with nothing achieved in between. Despite this, President Uhuru Kenyatta likes to believe that he should be given a second term. I would point out that this is an anomaly.
I would unequivocally say that President Uhuru Kenyatta is the worst President that Kenya has had since independence. Jubilee claims that it has a transformative agenda for this country. They think this should guarantee them the front seat of power for 20 years. As a prerequisite, President Kenyatta is supposed to be a symbol of unity for the country- he has not been. He has not shown the face of Kenya. If anything, he has made Kenyans retreat to their tribal cocoons. Mr. Kenyatta preaches that we should reject tribalism in its entirety, but how can he kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? It is tribalism that got him to the seat of power- period. He didn’t have better workable ideas than all the 2013 contestants- even in his native central Kenya base. It is asking too much to expect that Mr. Kenyatta will end tribalism and unite Kenyans.
Let me conclude with an example from West Africa. Ivory Coast- Cote de Ivoire, was the shining armor of West Africa. Its capital- Abidjan was an extension of Paris, with French executives flying in and out hammering deal after another. For 40 years since independence, Ivory Coast’s economy grew by leaps and bounds. But the benefits of this growing economy were not trickling down to opposition strongholds. The result was a bloody civil war in 2001 that sent the country to the economic doldrums. It shed a third of its GDP in the 10 year civil war. Even the quintessentially African bank- The African Development Bank- AfDB, had to relocate its headquarters to Tunis, Tunisia in North Africa. Ivory Coast’s reputation plummeted.
In 2007/08, Kenya nearly went towards the same route. Were it not for the quick and forceful intervention of the international community, the Kenyan state would have crumbled almost to a point of no repair.
I have always said that peace is not the absence of war. There is an incessant war of resentment in the hearts and minds of millions of Kenyans. God forbid if this internal war of resentment is going to erupt. It will go down with every Kenyan.
Mr. Kenyatta should not- and cannot- take Kenya towards this route. It will erase everything that our forefathers fought for. It will reinforce the long running narrative in the West- That the African must be helped- even from himself.